They stream in continuous convoy through Alma's daydreams. Campervan, caravan, overheard conversations. Sand, sweat and fermentation. Another 4x4 swings away through the dust, its void instantly replaced. New sparring voices to sweet'n sour the air. A milk jelly dollop of a child stares, pokes out her purple candy tongue, squeezes a tangy yellow trail towards the condiments. Alma doodles phallically on her notepad. Looks the father straight in the eye. "Make it snappy, love." The mother shrugs with her eyes. They leave behind an echo; the squinting rasp of chair legs, salt-sting resentment. Alma closes into herself. She blows through the girl's leftover cola straw. A fluorescent strip fizzes overhead. Bubble galaxies wink up at her through a thousand reflected pinpoints. She puts her ear to the glass. Listens. Believes in their frothy promises of something better. Above the sky; on the planets; on the eternal glimmer-eyes of beyond.


fiction by
Linda Grierson-Irish

image by
Jon Stubbington